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Oregon Jail Guard Latest to be Indicted for Sexual Misconduct

On May 13, 2010, Oregon jail guard Darin L. Fox was charged with having sexual contact with female prisoners. He was arrested and booked into the Clackamas County Jail, where he had worked since 1998. He was then released on his own recognizance.

While investigating complaints of sexual misconduct involving another guard, Alan Dean Randol, investigators learned of similar allegations against Fox.

Randol pleaded guilty to official misconduct and served eight days in jail. Fox was placed on paid administrative leave, and was indicted on one felony count of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct, one misdemeanor count of second-degree custodial sexual misconduct and five misdemeanor counts of first-degree official misconduct.

Felony first-degree custodial sexual misconduct requires actual intercourse, while second-degree misdemeanor custodial sexual misconduct encompasses all other sexual contact. The law was enacted in 2005 in response to high-profile sex abuse cases involving guards.
Several guards have been convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms under the custodial sexual misconduct statute. A prisoner’s willing participation in sex acts is not a defense, as prisoners are deemed unable to consent due to the power differential between guards and prisoners.

Fox’s indictment alleged that he engaged in sexual activity with female prisoners both in the jail and on electronic monitoring in their own residences. Sheriff Craig Roberts ordered an internal investigation. “The sheriff takes allegations of misconduct very seriously,” declared Clackamas County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Strovink.

Fox pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree official misconduct on June 23, 2010 and was sentenced to serve a mere 20 days in jail. He also was ordered to surrender his law enforcement certification.

Melissa Wheeler, one of the women sexually abused by Fox, filed a federal lawsuit against Clackamas County in September 2010. Wheeler was on electronic home monitoring when Fox visited her at home as part of his official duties. The suit claims that the county failed to train or supervise Fox, and violated Wheeler’s Eighth Amendment and equal protection rights. See: Wheeler v. Clackamas County, U.S.D.C. (D. Ore.), Case No. 3:10-cv-01137-PK.

Source: The Oregonian

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Related legal case

Wheeler v. Clackamas County